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Bengals send LB coach to Utah pro day for LB Cody Barton

The Bengals will likely draft two linebackers, could Barton be one of them?

NCAA Football: Southern California at Utah Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Tem Lukabu, the Bengals’ newly hired linebackers coach, was present at Utah’s pro day to check out linebacker Cody Barton’s workout, per Gil Brandt.

A four-year player for the Utes, Barton truly came into his own in his senior year in 2018. Playing alongside fellow senior linebacker Chase Hansen, Barton accounted for 69 solo tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, six passes defended and an interception and forced fumble each in his first year starting. Barton and Hansen carried Utah’s defense to a top-20 ranking in sport-reference’s simple rating system and an appearance in the PAC-12 Championship.

Measuring in at 6’2” and 237 pounds at the NFL combine, Barton came away with top marks in the short shuttle and 3-cone drills along with a passable 40-yard dash time. His vertical and broad jumps leave more to be desired though.

With 11 draft picks at their disposal, it would be foolish of the Bengals to not use at least two of them on linebackers. One will presumably be selected with one of the first three picks, and that leaves eight picks in the remaining four rounds to fill out the position group.

Barton would be a solid day three selection for the Bengals. The production is there along with most of the athleticism you look for in terms of long-term potential, and the rest of the résumé isn’t too shabby either. A team captain who pressed his way towards the top of the depth chart, Barton knows what it’s like to have a chip on his shoulder. He’d make the Bengals better, and that’s all you can ask for from a mid-round pick.